Study finds teachers need more support with math instructional materials for English Learners

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Nearly 1 out of every 5 students in California K-12 schools is an English Learner, yet our latest research in brief finds that the majority of teachers across the state are not being given the resources and support they need to effectively teach math to the hundreds of thousands of emerging bilingual students. The study, California Mathematics Teachers’ Perspectives On The Quality Of Their Instructional Materials For English Learners, looks at survey data from teachers and addresses 4 key findings:

  1. Elementary teachers broadly used the curriculum adopted by their district, while most secondary teachers used self-created materials on a daily basis.
  3. Most teachers reported that their curricular materials were aligned with the math content standards. Yet, only half responded that their materials helped them to tailor instruction to support English learners
  5. The majority of teachers reported that their materials lack relevance for students
  7. The majority of teachers reported that their materials do not support them to assess or provide feedback on English learners’ development of math language

As California is in the midst of updating the state’s math framework, this important research adds yet another voice to the many educators, advocates, researchers, and others who are urging state leaders to modernize math instruction.

Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.